Victims of Detainees’ Terrorism need Justice
By Zaheerul Hassan
Media is an instrument of war and peace, which is being exercised by every nations to mould the situations for the purpose of acquiring desired results through perception management,t, assist in revisiting and defining foreign policy, breaking status quo, making/changing the opinion of masses and protecting national and international interests. In regard to Pakistani media, an agony to this aspect is that some of our top liner’s electronic and print media’s instruments are showing reckless attitude while dealing with the important and sensitive issues of Pakistan.
Taking the case of four dead detainees, regretfully, the media just needs an issue to vilify the armed and security forces of Pakistan. The annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with over a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed as of 2010 (5000 of which are law enforcement personnel while rests are the innocent civilians). Whereas, the direct and indirect economic costs of terrorism from 2000-2010 sum up to a total of $68 billion. Overlooking which, the media is still crying for the four dead detainees who were party to this hideous crime which costed thousands of innocent lives. It is about time that media men revisit their lost sense of patriotism and call a spade a spade.
The detainees were involved in brutalities on Hamza camp, Kamra Base and GHQ. According to the media reports detainees were taken away from Adayala Jail by their own masters, disguised as intelligence persons, to FATA. After relentless efforts they were again tracked and caught from FATA/KPK by the intelligence agencies. These detainees were not convicted by Anti-Terrorist Courts due to lack of evidences, as most of the witnesses were afraid to appear before the court. It is also mentionable here that heirs of detainees used to threaten the judges of the court and superintendent and staff of the jail. This is a common culture that the key witness is always given death threats by perpetrators of these terrorists. The question arising in the mind of every sensible person is that how who will give the justice to the heirs of over 50 innocent individuals who have been victims of ferocity of RA Bazar, Hamza Camp, GHQ, and Kamra Base episode. If the respectable petitioners, media’s propagators and honorable apex Court’s Judges’ families would have suffered what they would have done? Would they have gone ahead with same zest? If media is united for one Wali Babar, just imagine how many “Wali Babars” have died in these suicide attacks. Who is to answer the widow of newly wed Mustansar? Who is to answer orphans of Ajmal? Who is to fill the gap of Saima’s son? A question for all humans!
Dedicated efforts were made to conduct trial of the suspects under PAA. Since prevailing security environments in KPK/FATA impose restrictions on freedom of action hence, it took relatively longer time to establish that sufficient evidences are not available to try these suspects under PAA as most of the witnesses are afraid to appear before the court. Fabricated and concocted evidences were not created to initiate legal proceedings under PAA.
The supreme court of Pakistan issued orders that FGCM proceedings may be initiated against the arrested suspects and arrangements be made for meeting with their family members. With an intent to uphold the rule of law, meetings of the family members were arranged as per court orders and it may be noted that after each meeting the family members were found satisfied and never complained anything. It may further be highlighted that even after the death of said detainees, it was their own families who did not allowed the autopsy of the dead bodies which were handed over to them with due respect and in accordance to Islamic rituals.
Suspects died due to natural causes during the medical treatment in the hospitals. Death certificates of the deceased given by the doctors of the concerned hospitals amply prove that they were not tortured or poisoned during the detention period. Furthermore it is again highlighted that even after the death of said detainees, it was their own families who did not allowed the autopsy of the dead bodies which were handed over to them with due respect and in accordance to Islamic rituals.
Relentless efforts were made to unearth the terrorist networks. One should be appreciating the agencies which apprehended the people involved in the terrorist attacks thus saving hundreds of other innocent lives from future planned terrorist acts. Moreover, there is a need to carry out the legislations of dealing such type of terrorists’ cases where common man never like to appear as witness because of insecure environment. Media pundits should display their responsibility of creating national harmony, elimination of terrorism, guarding human rights of peaceful citizens and eradicating violence from the society rather than defaming national institutions and creating soft corner for the terrorists in the society.
Unfortunately, the national and international issues are being debated just to have an edge over other channels. In Pakistan media and judiciary are known as third and fourth pillar, principally, the first and second pillars, the Executive and the Legislature of the Pakistan. The country is undergoing a very critical situation due to the war on terror and other factors. Let’s evaluate that under the current environment our media is displaying its responsibilities or still need improvement? The answer will be yes but still require lot of improvement in this regard. It is quite evident that one way or other the intellectual lot of media remained anxious in restoring of democracy; at the same time some of them indirectly found projecting the illegal activities of terrorists and anti-state elements. Here, I would like to suggest to media pundit and information ministry to devise to guarding our national interests and policies. Training should be given to reporters about looking while covering the sensitive matters and commenting upon the national issues.
Information minister should also arrange regular press briefing of the media. The complete facts should be highlighted to the media; similarly media should also show responsibility while making any issue in air. Anyhow, media should counter anti state propaganda instead proving space for anti-Pakistan writers in their publication to win the goodwill and making money at the cost of national integrity and security. Honourable Supreme Court should provide justice to those families and innocent people who became victims of detainees” terrorism.
The writer can be approached through firstname.lastname@example.org